Thursday, September 9, 2010
Listen. Do You Hear That? That's the Sound of Market Upswing
When the UFC was born way back in 1993 it was a huge money-maker, and soon there were a wealth of others looking to cash in on the fad (remember the World Combat Championships and Extreme Fighting?). Things quieted down for a while, yet when Zuffa swooped in and bought the ailing promotion, the sudden influx of cheddar had everyone seeing dollar signs, and fans of the sport were again treated to a batch of short-lived fistic ventures (oh Ultimate Athlete, how I miss you so). The TUF era saw another spate of offerings spring to life - perpetual MMA organization punchlines like BodogFIGHT and the IFL - and when they (and PRIDE) died, it was as if everyone accepted once and for all that the UFC would forever own a dominant piece of market share. Well, it's now 2010, and fans looking to get a fix of their favorite brand of combat again don't wait for the next installment of Octagon-flavored love. This week there's Bellator on premium cable and some upstart named Shark Fights on pay-per-view, Strikeforce is cranking out frequent installments on Showtime, and early in the summer we got to laugh at (and ultimately enjoy) something called Moosin. The UFC may be holding steady at the top, but there are others out there happily vying for the number two and three spots. And that, my friends, is a sure sign of market upswing. Since 1993 there's been peaks and there's been valleys, and based on the sheer quantity of promotions giving it there best shot right at this very moment, it's clear we're riding a comfortable rising trend. Of course, it's impossible to say when the next downturn will come. But if 17 years of following this thing has taught me anything, it's that now is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy. That's what I'm doing, at least.